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Performance-enhancing Sony TX1 and WX1 Announced
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posted on Aug 12, 2009 at 12:35AM

Performance-enhancing Sony TX1 and WX1 Announced

By Emily Raymond
  • Touchscreen Sony TX1
  • 5x, f/2.4 lens on WX1
  • New back-illuminated CMOS sensor
  • 10.2 megapixels
  • Party-shot personal photographer

(Credit: Sony Style)

Click to view additional images of Sony's 10.2-megapixel Cyber-shot TX1

Sony unveiled two digital cameras that come with brand new low-light performance-enhancing technology. The Cyber-shot TX1 and WX1 both have a 10.2-megapixel back-illuminated Exmor-R CMOS image sensor that promises “approximately twice the sensitivity of cameras with traditional image sensors,” according to the company.

The new digital cameras are the first Sony Cyber-shots to incorporate the new Exmor-R sensor. They offer many of the same improvements introduced on the Sony HX1 including the speedy bursts, “press and sweep panoramas,” and twilight and anti-motion modes that take several images quickly and combine them into one shot to enhance detail and reduce noise.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX1 and WX1 take the technology in the HX1 further with the new Exmor-R sensor by gathering more light than the HX1’s traditional CMOS sensor. The new Exmor-R sensor collects more light by positioning the circuitry away from the light sensitive photo-diodes. The increase in light increases clarity in the images and reduces noise.

“With these new ‘Exmor R’ CMOS sensor cameras, Sony has vastly improved the customer experience for taking pictures with digital still cameras in low-light scenarios,” said Phil Lubell, director of digital imaging business at Sony Electronics, in the Aug. 5 press release. “By redesigning the way these cameras capture light, Sony is leading the industry by creating this easy way to take amazingly clear, vibrant photos in low lighting scenarios.”

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX1 looks nearly identical to its T-series siblings with a trim 16.5mm metal body that comes in several colors: pink, silver, gray, and blue. It has a 3-inch touch LCD screen on the back that allows you to scroll through images with the flick of a finger. The TX1 has an internal 4x optical zoom lens that measures a relatively unimpressive 35-140mm. The lens is supported by the optical SteadyShot image stabilization system. The Sony TX1 offers 185-degree panoramas with its “sweep panorama mode,” while the WX1 offers a much wider 256 degrees.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX1 has the looks of its W-series counterparts and uses its fold-out lens to its advantage. The WX1’s 5x optical zoom lens is impressive with its 24-120mm reach and f/2.4 max aperture, which lets even more light pass to its 10.2-megapixel Exmor-R image sensor. It has a slightly smaller 2.7-inch LCD screen but shares many other features with the TX1.

Both the TX1 and WX1 offer HD movie recording, full-resolution 10 fps burst shooting, face detection that can recognize up to eight faces at a time, smile shutter and dynamic range optimization technology. They offer a host of automated modes and a few manual controls.

The Sony TX1 will retail for $379 when it becomes available in September. The WX1 will be available one month later for $349.

Sony also announced an interesting accessory for the two digital cameras: a “personal photographer.” This automated photographer is just a cradle where the TX1 or WX1 can slide into. The “Party-shot personal photographer,” as it is being called, can be mounted onto a tripod and uses the face detection and smile shutter technology in the cameras to search for photo opps and snap a few shots. The Party-shot takes two AA batteries and rotates 360 degrees and tilts 24 degrees to capture candid shots for up to 11 hours. This interesting piece of equipment will be available in September for $149.


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